Thursday, July 10, 2008

Designated Driver Needed

Traveling through France is great because of all the different things you will see, but it is also great because of all the different things you will taste. Like the unique landscapes, the unique buildings and the unique climates, France's regions also have unique edible specialties. There are crêpes in Bretagne, fondue in the Alps and bouillabaisse in Marseille. You can eat camembert chesse in Normandy, chèvre in the Loire Valley, and rocquefort in, well, Rocquefort. Of course, the only thing better than eating your way through France is drinking your way through France, and the regions offer up plenty of opportunities to do that as well.

Wine specialities exist in all corners of the county, and wine tastings at caves à vin are everywhere. One of my favorite places to taste French wine is here in the south. Rosés are a typical southern wine, and the Domaine de Souviou makes some great ones. I've been to a tasting here twice and each time has been a memorable experience. The service is excellent, the wines are fantastic, and the setting is incredible as the domaine is perched up in the hills overlooking the Mediterranean. Even better, they also make award-winning olive oil, which you can taste with little pieces of bread after you burn through their award-winning wines. Some of their olive trees are over 1000 years old. You'd hang around that long too if you had their view.

If you choose to road trip through France, you will undoubtedly come across numerous wineries that welcome visitors in for a taste. Don't be shy, get in there and check it out! The merchants are used to having tourists of all nationalities stop in and are happy to talk to you about their creations. It's a great way to meet locals and enjoy the local fare at the same time. Plus, it's so much more fun to drink wine at home when you've actually been to the source. Just be sure to pack light. You'll soon have bottles (or cases) competing for space with your other much less important supplies.

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